Institute of Health and
Biomedical Innovation


26 November 2018

Queensland’s oldest centre for tertiary nursing education – QUT’s School of Nursing – is marking its 40-year milestone, with a tribute to the nurses it has trained over the past four decades.

Established in 1978, the QUT School of Nursing was the first provider of tertiary nurse education in the State and since that time, thousands of students have passed through the doors of the Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove lecture theatres.

Three of those students – Adam, Ida and Tricia – are the focus of a campaign titled ‘Dear Nurse’, which thanks them for their dedication to the profession and the communities they serve.


QUT’s Head of Nursing, Distinguished Professor Patsy Yates, said the campaign showed the enormous contribution that nurses made across all areas of the health care system.

“The videos highlight the views of patients, their families, nursing and medical colleagues about nurses and their work. Nurses don’t seek out thanks or praise, but we thought it was important to acknowledge the difference they make to people’s lives and the role of nurses in the wider community,” Professor Yates said.

The 1991 opening of the QUT School of Nursing building at Kelvin Grove by then Queensland premier Wayne Goss, second left.


“Over the past 40 years, we have been proud to educate nurses and provide them with real world practical experiences, so they are fully prepared for their work in today’s health care setting. We have also been proud to build strong programs of nursing research which have helped to improve the lives of people affected by a wide range of health conditions.

“It is quite incredible to look back at the advances in health care and nursing practice over the last four decades and what these changes mean for how we prepare the next generation of nurses.

“Today, our courses are recognised as amongst the best in the world with content that reflects the changing needs of patients and communities locally and globally.”

QUT School of Nursing former
 student John Haberecht. 

One of the School of Nursing’s early students was John Haberecht, who enrolled in the first intake for a pre-registration course in 1982.

“Enrolling in the course marked quite a shift in how nurses were educated because before that, the training was done in the hospitals,” Mr Haberecht said.

“This approach was no longer suitable for preparing nurses to work in complex health care systems. There were about 50 of us in the course and only eight or nine men.

“After graduation, I worked in the cardiac ward at The Prince Charles Hospital before taking on various positions in mental health and paediatrics, and then I found my real calling in palliative care.

“It was a career that I very much fell in to but have thoroughly enjoyed.A sound education preparation was a critical part of this.”

First head of QUT School of Nursing
Joan Godfrey, left, and (Ivy) Bartz Schultz in 2001.

To coincide with the anniversary, the School of Nursing has published the second volume of A Tapestry of Service: The Evolution of Nursing in Australia by Dr (Ivy) Bartz Schultz MBE, which chronicles the history of the profession from 1900 onwards.

The school also hosted a free public lecture on December 5 at QUT Gardens Point, at which Professor Linda Aiken and Professor Matthew McHugh from the University of Pennsylvania discussed international evidence on nurse staffing and the important role nurses play in ensuring safe and effective care.


QUT Media contacts: Karen Milliner, 07 3138 1841 or
After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901 or 




Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI)

  • Postal address:
    Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
    GPO Box 2434
    Brisbane QLD 4001